$2.1M slot machine win

Someone got a big payday in Prince George this past weekend. 

The B.C. Lottery Corporation confirms that somebody won $2.1 million playing a slot machine at the Treasure Cove Casino on Saturday. 

The jackpot winner has not been named. 

A celebration will take place Thursday at the BCLC office in Kamloops.

Disturbing abuse, child porn

A Prince George man faces several charges after an investigation into child pornography. 

RCMP say they received a report earlier this month of child pornography at a home in the city. 

The investigation found a female child victim and a male offender. 

The following charges have been laid against Shawn Robert Dick. 

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual interference
  • Making child pornography
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Distributing child pornography
  • Administering a stupifying drug
  • Voyeurism 

“This is a disturbing case of child sexual abuse,"  Cpl. Carmen Kiener said in a release. "Our front line members did a great job in gathering evidence and ensuring this child was saved from the situation and further harm wasn’t brought to this child."

Police add that the 52-year-old Prince George resident is a travelling salesman who travels throughout B.C. As a result, police have not ruled out a possibility of more victims and are reaching out to the public. 

Anyone with further information is asked to contact Prince George RCMP at 250-561-3300.

Human remains identified

Prince George RCMP and the B.C. Coroners' Service have identified human remains found close to the John Hart bridge. 

Police say they received a report on Tuesday that human remains were found by a member of a CN Rail work crew.

The Coroners' Service has identified those remains as Regnald Percy Waite, a resident of Prince George who was last seen on Aug. 25, 2018. 

The remains were found along the rail line, roughly half a kilometre west of the Highway 97 bridge. 

Waite was officially reported missing to police in Prince George on Aug. 30, 2018.

He was 68 years old. 

BC's oldest trees protected

The B.C. government moved Wednesday to protect 54 of the province’s largest trees in a first step toward a broader old-growth strategy.

In a move criticized as “inadequate” by the B.C. Green Party, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said the “exceptionally large and old trees” were selected from the Big Tree Registry at the University of British Columbia.

Each tree will be surrounded by a “grove” of other trees to provide additional protection, especially from windstorms, he said.

“I don’t want to leave the impression that it’s one tree standing in the forest,” Donaldson said. “It’s a one-hectare buffer around that tree. So it’s other trees included in that.”

Donaldson made the announcement in Francis/King Regional Park, standing in front of an ancient Douglas fir tree that is already protected within the park boundaries.

“British Columbians want to know that trees like this and the ones you’re seeing today — even in an area they might not ever visit — will never be cut down,” he said.

B.C. Green MLA Adam Olsen welcomed the decision to protect the 54 trees, but criticized Donaldson for failing to save entire old-growth ecosystems.

The Greens have called for a moratorium on logging in Vancouver Island’s old-growth “hot spots,” which the party defines as areas of critical conservation significance.

“It’s nice to know that these 54 trees, and the one-hectare areas surrounding each of the trees, are going to be protected for generations to come,” Olsen said in a statement.

“But if government were serious about protecting B.C.’s old growth forests, they would be immediately protecting the few remaining, high productivity old-growth ecosystems — not a handful of trees.”

Bear bowls man over

A man is licking his wounds after allegedly colliding with a black bear in Coquitlam River Park Tuesday evening. 

The encounter occurred about 6 p.m. near the river, according to conservation officers.

A couple living in a tent about 20 metres from the river had come into contact with the bear several times over the previous two days as it searched out food stored at their campsite. 

When the bear claimed food from beside the tent Tuesday, pulling it into the forest, the man pursued the bruin, according to Insp. Murray Smith of the Conservation Officer Service. That’s when the bear charged at the man, bowling him over before disappearing into the forest.

The man was bruised and sore from the fall, and may have been concussed, according to Smith.

Conservation officers set bear traps around the area, which has now been marked off with police tape. New signs have also been put up warning there is a bear in the area.

By Wednesday morning, they still hadn’t located the bear, something Smith says is not surprising given the cool, dreary weather. 

“Bears activity tends to slow down in this kind of weather,” he said. 

The bear's alleged aggressive behaviour combined with the fact that that it hung around the campsite for a couple of days and that it has become accustomed to human food all mean the bruin is a problem. That means if conservation officers find it, “It would be euthanized.”

Forced to renovict tenants

A Burnaby landlord says the city is forcing him to evict his tenants – including a family with young children – for bylaw infractions many other homeowners are getting away with. 

Jason Chow owns a duplex where he lives with his family and an extended family member below, in an in-law suite. On the other side, a young family of four live above a basement suite rented by three students and professionals.

But, he said, he has to evict all of his tenants following a recent city inspection prompted by a complaint about Chow installing new flooring without a permit. 

And the mayor is defending the city policies that could lead to the renters being forced out. 

The inspector found the basement suite windows were too small. Basement suites are also not allowed in duplexes.

Chow said he has until Aug. 30 to submit building plans to the city showing what he will do to bring his duplex up to code. He said that would require installing an interior stairwell, turning the two suites on one side of the duplex into one and replacing the windows – a lengthy and expensive process that, he said, can’t be done with tenants living in the home. 

“It's something I don't want to do. It's a little bit crazy to me, to just kick out everybody just to do some renovations,” Chow said. 

Chow said every one of the approximately 20 duplexes he viewed while on the market two years ago had basement suites, and a realtor told him his building had operated as multi-unit rental property for 50 years before he bought it. 

Many houses in Chow’s neighbourhood have basement suites with similar windows, but they aren’t being forced to renovate because no one has filed a complaint, he said. 

Mayor Mike Hurley said he has “very great sympathy” for Chow’s tenants, but the city must enforce its bylaws once a breach has been discovered.

Hwy 1 reopens after crash

UPDATE: 5 p.m.

After a fatal crash closed the Trans-Canada Highway east of Revelstoke for the majority of Wednesday, the highway has now been reopened. 

A commercial dump truck lost control near Canyon Hot Springs at about 11:30 a.m. and collided with several other vehicles. The driver of the dump truck was ejected from the truck and died as a result.

DriveBC warns of heavy delays in the area. 

UPDATE: 1:45 p.m.

DriveBC reports the Trans-Canada Highway is expected to remain closed east of Revelstoke until 5 p.m. after a fatal series of collisions involving a dump truck.

ORIGINAL: 1 p.m.

A fatal accident has closed Highway 1 near Revelstoke.

According to DriveBC, the Trans Canada is closed in both directions and it is not expected to reopen for some time. No detour is available.

RCMP Cpl. Mike Halskov said at approximately 11:30 a.m., police and emergency services responded to a report of a fatal collision on Highway 1 near Canyon Hot Springs, approximately 33 kilometres east of Revelstoke.

“Upon arrival, it was determined that a commercial dump truck lost control and collided with several other vehicles,” said Halskov. “The driver of the dump truck was ejected and died as a result of the crash. There are no other reported fatalities, and injuries to the other vehicle occupants (are) not clear at this time.”

According to information from the scene, it was raining heavily at the time of the collision.

Trans Canada East Traffic Services Commercial Vehicle and Safety Enforcement officers and the BC Coroners’ Service are investigating the cause of the collision.

“The highway will remain closed for a number of hours as police investigate and make the scene safe for travel,” said Halskov, adding police ask motorists to obey the direction of traffic control personnel at the scene and to monitor DriveBC.ca or @DriveBC for updates regarding the closure.

Anyone with information regarding the collision is asked to call TCET in Revelstoke at 250-837-5255.

Mountain of stolen pet food

RCMP in Chase were able to sniff out a large cache of stolen dog food.

Cpl. Scott Linklater said on July 12, Chase RCMP Detachment executed another search warrant at a rural property in the 4000 block of Leopold Road near Scotch Creek, recovering a large amount of stolen dog food.

“During the previous search on June 21, police noted a suspiciously large amount of Acana and Orijen brand dog and cat food on the property. In the following days, investigators determined the pet food was related to a theft reported to the Delta Police Department in April of 2019,” said Linkater. “Hundreds of bags of dog and cat food were recovered during the search with a total value of $12,700.”

Linklater said no charges have been laid in the case of the stolen pet food at this time and the investigation is ongoing.

A report to BC Prosecution Services will be submitted for consideration of applicable charges.

The June 21 search of the same property netted police a bounty of prohibited weapons including fully automatic rifles.

“During the search, police located several vehicles that were confirmed stolen or had the vehicle identification numbers purposefully removed. Vehicles with the VIN removed were seized for further inspection to determine their origin,” Linklater said at the time of the raid.

Police also found numerous firearms, several of which were found to be prohibited, including a Norinco Mak-90 fully automatic rifle, a Sterling Mark 4 Sub Machine gun, a Smith & Wesson revolver with a ground off serial number and a drum magazine, and a firearm fitted within a small suitcase.

A mechanism was fashioned so a person holding the suitcase handle could activate a lever that would pull the trigger, shooting the firearm.

Sketch of SFU grabber

Burnaby RCMP have released a sketch of a man suspected of grabbing a 19-year-old Simon Fraser University student on a trail near the campus.

The woman had gone for a walk Sunday morning and noticed a man following her who tried to engage her in conversation, police say.

The man then allegedly grabbed her by the hand.

The woman was able to pull away and run to a parking lot, where she sought assistance from other people.

But police say the man kept trying to engage the woman before driving off in grey or black four-door Acura.

Police are now hoping to speak to two women who helped the woman shortly after the incident.

They have also released a composite sketch of the suspect who is described as a five-foot-nine South Asian male between the ages of 19 and 23.

He was last seen wearing a black turban, long-sleeve blue shirt, grey sweat pants and black sandals.

Anyone who may be able to identify the suspect is asked to contact police at 604-646-9999.

Hwy 97 closed near PG

Highway 97 is closed north of Prince George after a police investigation into a break and enter.

RCMP have arrested two suspects and say public safety is not at risk.

The highway is closed indefinitely at at Noranda Road.

"I’s a break and enter that occurred earlier in the day," Cpl. Craig Douglass explained. "There was an altercation between the police and the suspects which resulted in suspects being arrested and some vehicles damaged."

An analyst will remain on-scene as long as needed for the investigation.

IH region second in suicides

The numbers are down slightly province wide, but the Interior Health region has the second highest suicide rate in BC.

According to the BC Coroners Service, there were 572 suicide deaths in 2017, down slightly from the previous three years, which all had more than 600 deaths by suicide.

More than half of those who died by suicide in 2017 were between 30-59 and men accounted for three-quarters of all suicides in that year.

Key findings of this report include:

  • The Northern Health Authority had the highest rate of suicide deaths (17.7 deaths per 100,000 individuals), followed by the Interior Health Authority (16.7 deaths per 100,000 individuals).
  • The three most common means of suicide death in 2017 were by hanging (225), involving firearms (97) and poisoning (84).
  • Rates of suicide deaths are highest in the following health service delivery areas: Northeast (26.8 per 100,000 individuals), Kootenay Boundary (20.7 per 100,000 individuals), Thompson-Cariboo (18.6 per 100,000 individuals), East Kootenay (18.0 per 100,000 individuals) and Northern Interior (16.9 per 100,000 individuals).
  • Almost four per cent of the deaths involved children (aged 18 years or younger).

For more information on what services are available or to talk to someone if you are suicidal, click here.


Coffee poured on dog's face

A Vancouver Island man has been arrested and charged after allegedly pouring hot coffee on a dog's face.

Sooke RCMP says the incident happened at about 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning in Port Renfrew, when a two-year-old German shepherd-husky cross approached an 18-year-old man, as reported by CTV News.

"According to witnesses, the hot coffee was poured directly onto the dog's eyes," police said, adding there was no indication the dog was behaving aggressively.

The 18-year-old Port Renfrew man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, but he's since been released, with a court date scheduled in September.

Police say the dog is expected to make a full recovery.

 – with files from CTV Vancouver Island

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